Here are 11 US-based airlines that allow pets to fly in-cabin

Many of us wish we can take our pet with us everywhere we go and not to have to worry about leaving them behind when we travel. If it’s a nearby trip, perhaps you can pack your bags and your pet and simply travel by car. However, if it’s a long trip, that’s when it can be challenging to travel with your pets.

Thankfully, there are plenty of airlines across the USA that allow you to bring your pet in the cabin so you can keep an eye on them while you’re traveling across the sky.

While flying with a pet can be stressful, the guide below gives you an overview of costs, size requirements and the types of pets that are allowed to fly in the plane’s cabin. The list does not cover the airlines that allow pets in the cargo hold, only inside of the plane’s cabin in the same area as the passengers.

Many US-based airlines allow dogs in the cabin (image: Pixabay)

The airlines below are national carriers that are based in the US.

1. Alaska Airlines

Small pets are accepted for travel in the passenger cabin, subject to availability, for a fee of $100 USD/CAD each way. The types of pets that the airline allows in the passenger cabin are dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds.

Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old and must have been fully weaned and accustomed to take solid food and have done so, without nursing, for a period of at least five days. Furthermore, the pet must stay in their carrier (including head and tail) with the door/flap secured at all times in the boarding area (during boarding and deplaning), Alaska Lounge, and while onboard the aircraft.

The pet must also be stowed under the seat, in their carrier during taxi, takeoff and landing.

Measurements: Pets must be small enough to fit and stay comfortably in the carrier under the seat. The following carrier sizes are acceptable for travel in the cabin:

Kennel size requirements

Hard sided: Carrier size: 50, Dimensions: 17″ x 11″ x 7.5″

Soft-sided: Carrier size: 50, Dimensions: 17″ x 11″ x 9.5″

For more information click here.

Alaska Airlines (image: Jeffry Surianto/Pexels)

2. Allegiant Air

Allegiant welcomes small live animals/pets in the aircraft cabin within the contiguous 48 United States. Travel to international destinations and U.S. territories do not accept all pets.

Pets may travel with a pet carrier plus a personal item or a paid carry-on bag, but not both.

A non-refundable fee of USD 50.00 per segment per carrier will apply for all pets

Each paid traveler may have only one pet carrier

 Size requirements

 All pets must be transported in a soft-sided or hard-sided enclosed leak-proof carrier

  • We strongly suggest a soft-sided carrier
  • The carrier may be no larger than 9”H x 16”W x 19”D & fully close to contain the pet
  • No more than 2 pets per carrier

For more information, click here.

3. American Airlines

You can travel with a pet on most flights up to 12 hours or flights to/from select locations including within the 48 contiguous United States, the US and Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas.

For travel within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (based on specific country’s entry policy), the price is $125 per kennel.

Carry-on pets are limited to cats and dogs that meet the size, age and destination requirements.

Pets must be able to stand up and turn around, fitting comfortably inside the closed / zipped carrier.

You can bring 1 kennel as your carry-on bag if you pay the carry-on pet fee and if your pet stays in the kennel and under the seat in front of you the entire flight.

You can travel with your pet carrier and 1 personal item, but you will not be permitted to bring a carry-on bag in addition to a pet carrier and personal item. Instead, the kennel will replace your carry-on bag.

Non-collapsible kennels can’t exceed the under-seat dimensions of any aircraft included in your journey.  Soft-sided collapsible kennels are recommended and can be slightly larger but still need to fit under the seat without having to excessively collapse the kennel. They must be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on 3 or more sides.

Kennel size requirements

Hard-sided kennel

  • Mainline flights on American: 19 x 13 x 9 inches / 48 x 33 x 22 centimeters (length + width + height)
  • Regional flights on American Eagle: 16 x 12 x 8 inches / 40 x 30 x 20 centimeters (length + width + height)

Soft-sided kennel (recommended)

18 x 11 x 11 inches / 46 x 28 x 28 centimeters (length + width + height).

For more information on bringing pets, click here.

American Airlines (image: Quintin Gellar/Pexels)

4. Avelo Airlines

Avelo will only accept small cats, dogs, rabbits and birds in carriers that can be stowed under the seat in front of you. The airline allows hard-sided containers no larger than 14″ x 9″ x 9.5″ or soft containers that fit in the same space.

You must make a reservation for your pet in advance, as space is limited. Pet reservations must be made by purchasing the pet add-on on our website or by calling our Customer Support Center at (346) 616-9500. Pets will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.

Pets traveling are subject to a $125 pet fare each way per pet carrier.

Avelo’s pet standards states that we will accept up to eight (8) pet carriers per scheduled flight.

For more information click here. 

5. Delta Airlines

Small dogs, cats and household birds can travel in the cabin for a one-way fee at Delta. The fee is collected at check-in. Pets must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you.

Pets in cabin kennels will count as your one carry-on item. In addition to the kennel, you are permitted to bring one personal item onboard the aircraft.

For travel to and from the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, fees are USD 95/CAD 95 for flights issued on/after 28 February 2022.  Tickets are USD/CAD 125 for tickets issued before 28 February 2022.

On international flights, which include Europe, the price will be USD/CAD/EUR 200. Flights to Brazil are USD 75.

The airline adds that household birds permitted on domestic US flights only excluding Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Kennel size requirements

Your pet must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you and adhere to the following requirements:

  • Be small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel without touching or protruding from the sides of the kennel and have the ability to move around
  • The kennel must fit under the seat directly in front of you
  • The soft- or hard-sided kennels must be leak-proof and have ventilation openings on three sides (four sides for international travel)
  • Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight as the space under seats vary by aircraft, we recommend a soft-sided kennel with maximum dimensions of 18” x 11” x 11” since this fits most aircraft types
  • Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight – please check your flight’s aircraft dimensions to ensure your kennel will fit. The airline recommends having your pet’s kennel dimensions prior to contacting them.

Pets are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Click here for more information.

Delta Airlines (image: Chris Flaten/Pexels)

6. Frontier Airlines

Domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters or small household birds may be carried on flights within the US for a one-way directional charge. Only domesticated dogs and cats may be carried to or from international destinations. For safety reasons, your pet must stay in their travel container at all times.

The travel container must be large enough for the pet to stand, turn around and lie down in a natural position. The carrier must also fit underneath the seat in front of you. There may be certain seats that cannot accommodate your pet container, but the airline will work with you to get a seat assignment with space.

The one-way, directional charge will apply and may be paid in advance during booking. If you do not pay in advance, you’ll need to pay when you check-in your pet.

Pets are allowed in the cabin on all domestic Frontier flights, and on international flights to/from the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

In addition to the travel container for your pet, you are allowed either a personal item or a carry-on bag. An additional fee will apply for the carry-on bag.

Size requirements

Maximum dimensions for a pet container are 18″ length x 14″ width x 8″ height.

For more information click here.

7. Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaii is the only rabies-free state in the US. To maintain this, Hawaii has strict regulations, restrictions and several requirements that must be completed prior to travel.

Hawaiian Airlines requires pets to travel with an animal health certificate, depending on their route. You are responsible for obtaining an animal health certificate from your pet’s treating veterinarian, prior to the date of travel as follows:

Travel solely within Hawaii: Not required.

Travel between Hawaii and the US Mainland: Required. The health certificate must be dated no more than14 days prior to flight arrival at the destination.

Hawaiian Airlines transports dogs, cats and household birds, but there are conditions and restrictions that apply whether you are traveling with your pet or trained service animal.

  • Permitted only on inter-island flights within Hawaii, and flights between the State of Hawaii and the US Mainland (excluding flights to/from JFK in New York, BOS (Boston), or AUS (Austin, TX).
  • Only dogs and cats are permitted for travel in the passenger cabin.
  • Your pet must be in an approved carrier, not to exceed 16” long x 10” wide x 9.5” high.
  • The pet and carrier combined may not exceed 25 lbs total.
  • Carriers containing animals will be measured and weighed at check-in. Animals will be visually inspected to ensure size and breed compliance.
  • You may book your pet in the passenger cabin at the same time that you make your own flight reservations (subject to applicable fees and space availability by calling Hawaiian Airlines Reservations).

The following fees will apply for animals traveling as a pet in cabin:

  • Travel within the State of Hawaii: $35.00 USD
  • Travel between Hawaii and North America: $125.00 USD
    • This fee includes connecting interisland flights occurring on the same day, when booked in the same reservation.

For more information visit Hawaiian Airlines website here.

Hawaiian Airlines (image: Josh Withers/Pexels)

8. JetBlue

Only small dogs and cats may travel in the cabin (except in Mint, the airline’s premium class) in an FAA-approved (Federal Aviation Administration) pet carrier that fits comfortably under the seat in front of you. You can book your pet online at or the free JetBlue app, or by contacting the airline.

The pet fee is USD 125 each way and can be added in the Extras section during booking.

A maximum of two pets per traveller is allowed, each in their own carrier. In order to bring a second pet, a second seat and pet fee must be paid.

Your pet and approved pet carrier count as one personal item and must fit under the seat in front of you.

Pets are not permitted on flights to Trinidad & Tobago or to/from U.K./Europe

Size requirements

Pets must travel in a FAA-approved pet carrier (no larger than 17″ L x 12.5″ W x 8.5″ H or 43.18 cm L x 31.75 cm W x 21.59 cm H). and the combined weight of your pet and the carrier must not exceed 20 pounds.

For more on bringing pets in cabin, click here. 

9. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines allows small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel with you in-cabin under the seat in front of you. All pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier.

Acceptable Pet Carriers:

  • The Southwest Airlines Pet Carrier (17” long x 9.5” high x 10” wide).
  • Other pet carriers with maximum dimensions of 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide.
  • Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers specifically designed as pet carriers are acceptable.
  • The carriers must be leak-proof and well ventilated.
  • The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the Customer and be stowed in accordance with FAA regulations.

Pet Carrier Requirements:

  • Southwest Airlines allows only one pet carrier per ticketed passenger.
  • The carrier may contain two (2) cats or dogs and must be of the same species per carrier.
  • The cat or dog must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease.
  • Pets must be secured in the pet carrier at all times while in the gate area, during boarding/deplaning, and they must remain in the carrier for the entire duration of the flight. Failure to follow this requirement may result in denial of transportation of the pet onboard Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines does not accept pets (cats or dogs) traveling without a customer and pets are not permitted to travel with unaccompanied minors.

Pets are also not allowed to travel in-cabin on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight.

Pets traveling are subject to a $95 pet fare each way per pet carrier.

For more click here.

Southwest Airlines (image: Jeffry Surianto/Pexels)

10. Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines will only allow the following pets on the aircraft: domestic dogs, domestic cats, small household birds (except to / from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), small domestic rabbits (except to/from Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).

Your pet must be in a container subject to inspection and approval by Spirit. Spirit will count your pet as one-plus-one carry-on luggage. The dimensions of the container must not exceed 18″x14″x9″ (45.72cm x 35.56 cm x 22.86cm) in overall dimensions (L x W x H) and must be able to fit under the seat in front of the guest traveling with the animal.

There is a limit of six pets total in cabin. The price is $125 per pet container, each way.

The combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 40 pounds (18.14 kg). Your pet must remain in the carrier at all times and be able to stand and turn around in the container. Only soft containers are allowed in the cabin, but not the type that allows your pet’s head to remain outside. Ensure that the container complies with all government requirements for safe transportation.

Spirit Airlines does not accept animals on international flights, except in the case of service animals. For more on traveling with pets in Spirit Airlines, click here.

11. United Airlines

United Airlines has no weight or breed limitations for pets, they must travel in either a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier. This carrier must fit under the seat in front of you or you cannot fly with your pet. There can only be one pet per carrier, and they must be able to stand up and turn around while inside. The only animals allowed on planes without a pet carrier are service animals.

There is a $125 fee each way for traveling with your pet. There is also a $125 fee for each layover of more than four hours for flights within the U.S. and more than 24 hours internationally. You cannot use travel credits to pay this fee.

As long as your destination allows pets, you can take them with you on any flight operated by United or United Express. If you’re flying internationally, you’ll need to call 1-800-864-8331 to add a pet to your reservation.

United Airlines does not allow pets to fly to, from or even through the below list of states and countries.

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Cuba
  • Guam (You can bring a pet on flights from Guam to Tokyo-Narita. You cannot bring your pet on the flight back to Guam
  • French Polynesia (Tahiti)
  • Hawaii
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan)
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Tahiti
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Arab Emirates (Dubai)
  • United Kingdom

Size requirements for pet carriers

Hard-sided carrier: Height: 7.5 inches (19 cm) x Length 17.5 inches (44 cm) x Width 12 inches (30 cm).

Soft-sided carrier: Height 11 inches (27 cm) x Length 18 inches (45 cm) x Width 11 inches (27 cm).

For more information, click here. 

United Airlines (image: Uğurcan Özmen/Pexels)




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